Trentham Military Training Camp
This film shows a panoramic view of Trentham Military Training Camp, north of Wellington. In the foreground, groups of men can be seen practising drills. Behind them is the camp; a few permanent structures surrounded by rows of characteristic cone-shaped tents. Trentham was where many soldiers of the Main Body completed their brief training.
Training at Trentham
The New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) required fit, young, trained solders, both to prepare them for the realities of marching and fighting on the Western Front, but also to reinforce those who met their deaths there. Many men who were trained during the First World War had already received compulsory drilling during junior cadet training at school. The Trentham Military Camp in the Hutt Valley was opened in 1915 to accommodate and train newly recruited soldiers before they were sent to Europe, where their training would continue.
Nurses remember the sinking of the Marquette
Three New Zealand nurses - Elizabeth Young, Mary Gould and Jeanne Peek (née Sinclair) - recount their experiences of the sinking of the troopship S.S. Marquette on 23 October 1915. The nurses were part of the New Zealand No. 1 Stationary Hospital unit, which was sailing on the troop transport from Alexandria, Egypt, to Salonika (Thessaloniki) in Greece, when their ship was struck by a torpedo from a German U-boat.
Bright blades flickering into straw-filled sacks
As part of their full 16-week training course, recruits were given four weeks of training in drill, artillery and bayonet use at Featherston Military Training Camp, in the countryside north of Wellington. This film shows Lewis gun instruction, and fixed bayonet training with straw-filled dummies. A history of the Trentham Camp recorded how: “The bright blades flickered into the straw-filled sacks, out again and in again. At each point the men made hoarse guttural noises, like football war-cries, and when the enemy was presumed to be dealt with they charged on for a line of trenches. The instructor had overtaken them... But he scarcely could be heard for the yelling of his men, mingled with the war-cries of other squads.”